Free Clip from Managing IT: Metrics and Measurements - Only Measure What's Important

[PHOTO] - Kevin Miller

Posted by Kevin Miller
Released:  November 20, 2018

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This course was published via Pluralsight.

As I alluded to at the end of the previous clip, it is critical that you only measure what's important. Why? Because measurements are not free. Every measurement takes time to obtain, and every measurement takes time to review. You know what they say, time is money. This is time that could and should be better spent obtaining and reviewing measurements that matter.

Over time, measurements build up. All of the extra measurements which are not being used are a distraction. You will waste time and energy sorting through them when attempting to find the ones you actually want. I'll give you an example. Things generally start small with only a single measurement or two. But then you think of a few more key measurements, which can help. Pretty soon, you have an entire table full of data. To better understand that data, you turn it into a visual report. You realize the report is not quite complete, so you collect a few more measurements and enhance that report. So far, things are looking good.

As time moves on, some people leave the company and new people get hired. One of those new people is a leader and wants to see a slight change in that old report you built last year. They have some brilliant ideas from their previous employer that they want to implement here, but they need the measurements to back those ideas up. The first thing you do is capture the additional measurement that this new person seeks. Once you've confirmed its accuracy and value, you replace an older measurement on your report with a new one. You have talent. There's no doubt about that. You knew where to find that additional measurement and added it to the report quickly. This updated report is going to enable the new leader to make informed decisions, and you helped to provide the data behind those decisions. Well done. Now before you go celebrating with all of your friends and coworkers, you have a little bit of cleanup to do.

If that old measurement isn't being used anymore, you shouldn't still be collecting it. Now I know what you're thinking. I've had these thoughts myself in the past. That measurement took a lot of effort to obtain. It doesn't make sense to throw all of that effort away. Yes, it does. We may need it again in the future. You're right, you may, but those odds are small. Plus, you can always re‑obtain it. That decision isn't up to me. While you may not have the authority, the decision most certainly is up to you. Make a case to your boss to stop collecting measurements that add no value. If he or she resists, send them the link to this course, this module, and this exact clip because here is what will happen if you make excuses to not get rid of useless measurements. As you collect more and more new measurements, these old measurements will start piling up. Pretty soon, you'll be looking for a needle in a haystack to find the measurement you actually need. And why would you want to do that? Make things easier on yourself and everyone who follows you by dropping the old measurements that are no longer used. They had their time of importance, but that time has passed.

This course was published via Pluralsight.

Free Clips

Free clip #1:  Measurement Effort vs. Importance

Free clip #2:  Only Measure What's Important

Free clip #3:  How SMART Are You?

Free clip #4:  The IT Triangle

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